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The Best Exchanges

Betting Exchange Guide Contents
Exchange Intro | Why They Exist | The Best Exchanges | The Benefits | The Disadvantages | What the Numbers Mean

The Big Players

There are now a few betting exchanges operating in this market. Most of the betting exchanges have the same look and feel and once you know your way around one you will find the rest a doddle. The main betting exchanges are currently (in no particular order):
1) Betfair
3) Sporting Options - Unfortunately Sporting Options were placed into administration in November 2004

Betting Exchanges Compared

There are a couple of factors that have the most bearing on your usage of a betting exchange liquidity and commission on winnings.


Betfair has been around for the longest as and as a result they have gained a so called "first mover advantage". This means they were able to accumulate a customer base before the other betting exchanges arrived on the scene. This provides a huge benefit to them. The more customers the betting exchange has the more trades that will be placed on each market, this is refered to as liquidity.

If a market is not very liquid it is harder to place a bet, for example you might wish to back a selection but there may be nobody willing to lay it at the odds you want, you can therefore not place your bet. The more liquid the betting exchange is the better.

You will usually find Betfair has the most liquid markets.

Commission Rates

As we mentioned above, the Betfair exchange has been around the longest out of the major betting exchanges and as a result they have accumulated arguably the largest customer base. Also as mentioned above, Betfair know that this large customer base makes their markets very liquid. What they also know is that this will often make them the first choice betting exchange (all other things being equal). Consequently they do also have slightly higher commission rates than the other betting exchanges. People don't normally like to pay more for a product than they have to, but they are prepared to accept the higher commission rate for better liquidity.

The new betting exchanges need to build their customer base in order to make their markets liquid, as they see it, the best way for them to acquire new customers is through more attractive pricing, ie, offering a lower commission rate. So, although the markets may be less liquid at the newer betting exchanges, the lower commission rate means that provided you manage to match your bet, assuming the odds were the same everywhere, you would win more at an exchange offering lower commission rates.

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